Injury hit Perin ‘still a Villa target’

By Graham Hill

VILLA are still trying to work out a deal for Juventus keeper Mattia Perin according to reports in Italy.

Perin, 26, has two caps for Italy and could be available for around £13.5million.

The player’s initial reaction to Villa’s interest was apparently that he was not keen on a move to the Midlands.

But now the Corriere di Torino newspaper says that Villa are still on course to bring in Perin – even though the player is supposedly nursing an injury at the moment.

It has already been suggested that the player’s injury problems may mean it is a loan deal at first.

But at the moment, a permanent move is being discussed. That may be a risk for Villa for a player whose fitness is an issue.

Juventus director Fabio Paratici has already been in England to try and kick-start negotiations as part of his discussions with other clubs about a variety of targets.

But Villa boss Dean Smith is fast running out of options as efforts to bring in Jack Butland, Tom Heaton and Neil Etheridge have all stalled over the fees being asked for those players.

The price on Perin’s head now is the same as the one Benfica were prepared to pay earlier this summer until the keeper failed his medical.

But there is some confusion with Perin said to be out of action with a shoulder injury.

Villa have had little luck with their keepers recently and – ironically – it was their third choice stopper Jed Steer who came in from the cold to help Smith’s side win promotion and win a new contrast in the process.

But Smith is keen to bring in a more established No1 this season after their two international keepers failed to make an impact with form and fitness being a concern,

Norway’s Orjan Nyland and Croatia keeper Lovre Kalinic both fell well below expectations when they were fully fit.

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